Investment in green jobs could allow them to replace all those lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic in two years, according to research from Green New Deal UK.
The campaign group used statistics from the ONS, which showed that the number of job vacancies between January and March 2021 fell by almost 23% year on year. Estimates suggest there has been a decline of 813,000 payrolled employees in the 12 months to March 2021, with over 50% of these under 25.
Those permanently lost could be replaced by green jobs through government and private investment in green infrastructure, energy, research and development (R&D), digital infrastructure and social care across the UK.
This could lead to a net job gain of almost 240,000 over two years, creating over 1.2 million green jobs, and more than 2.7 million jobs over ten years Green New Deal UK suggested.
To bring jobs and investment back to every region of the UK, there needs to be a “comprehensive programme of government investment that drives forward our climate targets,” said Hannah Martin, co-executive director of Green New Deal UK.
“Having so many people out of work when there is so much work to do makes no sense. Tackling the climate crisis can create millions of good green jobs up and down the country and replace all the jobs lost to the pandemic within just two years. We must act now and use this crisis to build an economy that works for everyone.”
The research follows a report from the Trades Union Congress in March based on ONS data that suggested green jobs in the UK have fallen by as many as 30,000 since 2014.
UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea added to Green New Deal UK’s call for greater investment to spur on the green economy, saying it was “the best way to get the country back on its feet after the pandemic".